- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Virginia school district voted Tuesday to return “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” back to school library shelves after they were briefly suspended following a parent’s complaint.

Accomack County Public Schools temporarily suspended the classic novels from classrooms and libraries to undergo further review after a parent complained last month about the use of the N-word.

The racial slur appears 219 times in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and 48 times in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Demonstrators gathered outside the Accomack County courthouse last week to protest the decision and a petition was launched by a high school student to reverse the ban, a local NBC News affiliate reported.

The Accomack County School Board voted on Tuesday to permanently reinstate both novels immediately.



“These novels are treasures of American literature and inspirational, timeless stories of conscience and bravery,” said Ronnie Holden, chairman of the board, NBC reported. “We agree that some of the language used is offensive and hurtful. Fortunately, Accomack County’s excellent teachers and media center specialists have a wonderful talent for conveying the bigger meanings and messages of literature.”

The board also decided to revise its policy that requires a book to be removed from library shelves before it can be reviewed by a committee. Mr. Holden said the new policy would give Superintendent Chris Holland discretion to keep books in circulation while they are being challenged, NBC reported.

“The process we must follow does not move as fast as the news cycle,” Mr. Holden lamented, The Daily Times reported.

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